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Employment Support Services 2018

Evaluation of Scotland's Devolved Employment Services

The first independent evaluation of employment transitional services was published on Friday, 3rd August 2018 by Cambridge Policy Consultants. You can access this information: here

Scotland's Devolved Employment Services Case Studies

Work First Scotland - Case Study 1 

E from Falkirk said: "I have managed to overcome many barriers to work including; a battle with breast cancer, a divorce and the devastating loss of my mother. I am also learning to live with the side effects of my medication but have a good reason to celebrate since being given the all-clear from cancer and securing a new permanent job. I was unemployed for a year but with support from Remploy, the disability employment specialists, I now work as a Cafe Assistant and Barista in a local cafe. EK said: "I felt my health was a barrier to work, as well as a lack of confidence. Remploy has supported me to overcome this issue and now I am loving being back in the workplace. I spent ten years as a Manager and Clinical Therapist for a weight loss company, then supported a friend in a local cafe which I enjoyed, so gaining more experience in a café environment is great for me. I was supported through Work First Scotland, a Scottish Government programme that supports people with a disability or health condition into fair and sustainable work. My period of unemployment was particularly tough given that I was going through a difficult divorce and had to cope with the loss of my Mother at the same time. Remploy were keen to keep me positive and were as supportive as possible during this challenging time." Her Remploy Employment Advisor said: "EK had a lot on her plate but she had a lot of qualities and experience. Supporting her into work made me feel I was doing my bit to help, and seeing her enjoying work and doing so well is a very rewarding feeling. We supported her with confidence building, interview skills and also wrote some speculative letters to local companies together. As a result, she managed to gain a work trial at a local cafe which lead to her employment." EK said: "I gained valuable experience through Remploy's support, it has enabled me to have a more positive outlook and their ongoing help has allowed me to gain full-time employment." Her Remploy Employment Advisor added: "E has been great to support, she was willing to look at all types of work and try all options including work trials. She has a positive, can do attitude!"

Work Able Scotland - Case Study 1

JM lives in Dundee. She was referred onto Work Able Scotland through the Wise Group via Jobcentre Plus in Dundee. She has struggled with her mental health, and has thyroid problems. JM said: "After a bereavement - I lost my son - I decided that it was time to get back to work and to get my life on track. I'd gone to the Jobcentre, and they sent me on to the Wise Group. I'd been out of work for seven years, and the thought of getting back into the workplace was daunting. Getting the extra training, getting an interview - I found that difficult. The Wise Group helped me get there. My confidence had been completely knocked. I needed to build myself up and realise my potential. Once the Jobcentre referred me on to the Wise Group, I went as often as I could. I was so keen to get help. The team gave me an IT for Work course, we built up my CV and got job search apps set up on my phone. My adviser has been fantastic. She's really understanding, and very patient. I'd worked in a care home ten years ago, and it was something I wanted to get back to. I knew I had to learn new procedures around health and safety, so I was keen to get access to that. A few weeks ago, I got an interview with a local company. I got through it, and I'm now undergoing training before I start my job as a care and support assistant. I'll be working with older people in their homes and helping them live independently. I'm really looking forward to getting back into work. I'm feeling great - and it's all thanks to the Wise Group. I've seen a big difference in myself - it's like night and day. Work Able Scotland has turned my life around. I've gone from being a complete wreck to the strong, independent woman that I am now. I can't thank the team at the Wise Group enough. They've been wonderful, every single one of them - they had faith in me, and let me have faith in myself. Getting started on Work Able Scotland was quite overwhelming to start with, but it's been such a good experience for me. My confidence was gone, and I wasn't very communicative to begin with - but they stuck with me and pulled me out of myself. I can't praise them enough.

Work Able Scotland - Case Study 2

C lives in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway. Since leaving school at 16, she has spent more than 20 years working in voluntary roles in hospitality and retail. The 38-year-old, who has epilepsy and autism, is now keen to find paid work to put her experience to use. She was referred on to Work Able Scotland through Lifeskills by Jobcentre Plus in Annan at the start of 2018. C said:"Applying for jobs was terrible before I went to Lifeskills. I've been job searching for about five years, and I'm not very good at it. These online application forms drive me mad. So having someone to help me with that, to fill out the forms and apply for jobs, has been great. As well as helping me with application forms and understanding what employers look for, my adviser at Lifeskills has helped me to update my CV too. That has been really successful - I've now had four job interviews since doing that. To prepare for the interviews, my adviser would go through the questions they will ask me, some of the more difficult ones. The first one - "tell us a bit about yourself" - is something I find really hard. When you have 20-plus years of experience - where do you start? So he helped me figure out how to answer that. As I've been doing voluntary work for 20 years. I'm working full-time at a charity shop, and I'm not getting paid for it. I would rather work and get paid for it. I've gained lots of skills and proven I can do a job in this line of work. I've got experience in customer service, till work, merchandising - I've been doing it for 20 years. I've done some hospitality work too. I think I'm a bit closer to my dream of having a paid job now. I'm more confident now. If I see jobs, I'll speak to my adviser and see if I should apply for them. I have experience in hospitality and retail, but my manager in the charity shop says that I'm quite good at doing admin - she gets me to do the photocopying and stuff. She thinks I'd be good working on reception, but I don't think I'd like to be sitting at a computer all day. I'd rather be up and about and working with people.  I enjoy dealing with the customers. My experience with Lifeskills has been very positive, and I feel like I am much further ahead that I was. I hope that the work I have put in pays off soon."

Background Information on Scotland's Devolved Employment Services

In one of the first exercises of devolved powers under the 2016 Scotland Act, the Scottish Government will deliver new employment support services from April 2017. The full devolved powers under the 2016 Scotland Act, will deliver an employment support from April 2018.

Work First Scotland (WFS) and Work Able Scotland (WAS) will provide transitional arrangements from April 2017 by providing up to 12 months of support, helping up to 4,800 people with health conditions and disabilities into work. The full devolved service, Fair Start Scotland, launched  in April 2018. Fair Start Scotland (FSS) aims to  support a minimum of 38,000 people over three years. 

Scotland's new devolved employment services are distinctive in that they are entirely voluntary, meaning that people may participate without the threat of sanctions.

The Scottish Government's employment support services will be tailored to local needs and issues and fairer and simpler for people to access.

Keep up to date with our progress by following @EmployinScot on Twitter, and get involved using #FairStartScotland

We know that building a more competitive economy and a fairer society go hand in hand. Employability services can make a significant contribution to this agenda so it is right that we now take a fresh look at employment services in Scotland. This is our chance to put the support in place for people the length and breadth of Scotland to help people make the most of their skills and potential.

Work First Scotland

Work First Scotland (WFS) will provide high quality employment support for up to 3,300 customers with a disability in Scotland, who want and need help to enter and remain in the labour market. 

The WFS service will meet the needs of people with disabilities who may need more specialised support to find employment or keep a job once they have started work. Participation on WFS is voluntary, it is tailored to individual needs and will provide a coherent range of specialist support which responds flexibly and effectively to the needs of disabled people and their employers.

The Scottish Government have awarded contracts for WFS to the Providers listed below:

Name of Contract Area for 2017  Provider 
Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian  Momentum Scotland  
Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside Remploy & Shaw Trust    
Glasgow, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire Remploy & Shaw Trust 
Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde   Remploy & Shaw Trust 

Work Able Scotland

Work Able Scotland (WAS) will support up to 1,500 starts for eligible customers with
a health condition who want to enter work.

If you want to know if you may be eligible please see the WAS Information Leaflet.

The support on offer will be characterised by a holistic approach to individuals' needs, built on a supportive coaching relationship with a dedicated case manager and coordinated access to skills and health support for each customer. Participation on WAS is voluntary and the service will provide support for up to 12 months for eligible individuals. 

Skills Development Scotland have awarded contracts for WAS delivery on behalf of the Scottish Government as follows:

Name of Contract Area for 2017 Provider
Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian

Progress Scotland

(Consortium of The Lennox Partnership & Working Links)

Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside The Wise Group
Glasgow, Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire The Wise Group

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde